I’m somewhere between a third and halfway done with my book project (shameless plug: sign up on the right side of this page to be notified when it’s ready). I’ll try to post an excerpt for the internet’s review next week. Writing a book is hard, you guys….but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m excited to finish the thing and see what the world thinks.

Anyhow, since I’m writing a book based on a Craigslist post, I figured that a good way to procrastinate would be to prepare myself for rejection. Perhaps you or someone you know will find this motivational. Here is a list of a few people who faced failure and went on to do ok for themselves. Feel free to share this if you think it might help motivate someone to keep moving forward.

Steven Spielberg rejected from University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television 3 times due to poor grades. (source: http://www.theblackandblue.com/2011/04/05/the-steven-spielberg-three-step-guide-to-rejection/)

Dr. Robert Jarvik, who created the first artificial heart, was rejected by about 25 American Medical Schools due to poor test grades. (source: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jarvik-robert-koffler)

Martin Luther King, Jr. got a C and C+ in his public speaking classes in seminary. (source: America’s Prophet by Bruce Feiler)

Albert Einstein failed his first college entrance exam. Then, he graduated near the bottom of his college class. Then, he struggled to find work when he did graduate from university (he was the only person from his section of the graduating class who didn’t get a job). (source: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson)

Thomas Edison’s teachers thought he was “too stupid” to learn anything. (source: https://www.loc.gov/collections/edison-company-motion-pictures-and-sound-recordings/articles-and-essays/biography/life-of-thomas-alva-edison/)

Winston Churchill twice failed the entrance exam to the Royal Military Academy. (source: https://www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org/winston-churchills-military-career.html)

When ranked by grades, Louis Pasteur ranked 15th out of the 22 students in his chemistry program. (source: Louis Pasteur and the Hidden World of Microbes by Louise E. Robbins)

Leo Tolstoy failed and partied himself out of college. (source: https://www.biography.com/people/leo-tolstoy-9508518)

Richard Theiler (Nobel winner and discoverer of the endowment effect) was initially rejected from every economics university job he applied for. (source: The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis)

Benjamin Franklin failed math twice. (source: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson)

Walt Disney was fired from a Missouri newspaper for not being creative enough. (source: https://www.fastcompany.com/90217870/4-famous-failures-that-became-massive-successes)

Sylvester Stallone was rejected by talent scouts over 1,000 times. (source: https://succeedfeed.com/the-inspiring-sylvester-stallone-success-story/)

Robin Williams was voted “least likely to succeed” in his high school class. (source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/11/robin-williams-facts_n_5670220.html)

Steve Jobs was fired from the company he founded. (source: https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-apple-fired-returned-2017-7)

J.K. Rowling was rejected by all 12 major publishing houses. (source: https://www.businessinsider.com/jk-rowling-rejection-letters-2016-3?r=UK&IR=T and Sprint by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Dan Bittner)

George Washington was rejected for a commission in the British army. (source: American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis and John H. Mayer)

W.M. Paul Young was rejected by 26 publishing houses before self-publishing The Shack. (source: https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0622/celebrity-09-shack-religious-thriller-paul-young-publishing-miracle.html#17b728db658b)

Oprah was fired from her first job for being unfit for television. (source: https://www.vogue.com/article/oprah-winfrey-5-things-you-didnt-know)

James Dyson had 5,126 failed prototypes for his vacuum before succeeding. (source: How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton)

Peter Thiel (PayPal founder and venture capitalist) went to Stanford Law school and then competed for a Supreme Court justice clerkship. He lost out to other applicants and was devastated. Had he gotten the clerkship, he would’ve spent his life taking depositions and helping other people file patents for their businesses rather than creating anything new. (source: Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters)

Jack Canfield was rejected 140 times before someone took a chance on Chicken Soup for the Soul. (source: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer)

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan (source: every motivational book ever written)